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« : April 07, 2013, 12:00:16 AM »

2013 NFL Draft: Cornerbacks In All Seven Rounds for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Target

Apr 6th, 2013 at 8:28 pm by Leo Howell

2013 NFL Draft

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may keep Eric Wright, and they may add Darrelle Revis, but when the 2013 NFL Draft rolls around, there is absolutely no doubt that at least one cornerback will be selected. But what options do the Bucs have? Everyone knows that Dee Milliner is probably the best corner in the draft, and Xavier Rhodes is obviously a name to consider for the Buccaneers, but with the draft spanning seven rounds worth of selections, let’s take a look at some of the players that the Buccaneers could take in every round of the annual selection meeting.

Round 1: Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Banks did himself no favors by showing poorly in timed workouts at the combine, but he’s got plenty of tape to show that he’s capable of playing well in the SEC. Before the offseason hype machine started to turn, and Desmond Trufant and Xavier Rhodes shot up the charts, Banks was considered by some draft experts as the second best cornerback in this draft class.
The most important trait that Banks possesses that makes him a strong candidate to join the Buccaneers is his work ethic and toughness. He’s definitely a Greg Schiano kind of player, known for being a leader and known for getting after it on the field. His CBS Sports Draft profile lists this telling quote under his positive qualifications:

 Aggressive and tough against the run and works hard to shed. Lacks ideal bulk but doesn’t shy from big hits and easy to love his physical nature and competitiveness. Fiery demeanor and not afraid to get on teammates for mistakes. Known as a vocal team leader with strong football character, work ethic and ambition.
If that’s not the perfect opening paragraph for a cover letter to apply and work for Greg Schiano, I’m not sure what is. Banks is a borderline first round pick, and would be a perfect target for the Buccaneers to pull a “Draft Day Doug Martin” and trade back into the first round to snag him. Combine him with a pass rusher or defensive tackle with the 13th pick, and the defense looks better in a hurry.

Round 2: Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
One of the biggest problems with the Buccaneers’ defensive backs not named Ronde Barber over the past few years is the inability to make plays on the football. The Buccaneers have been average in interceptions over the past few years, and frequently below average in passes defended. One of the things Jordan Poyer does best is put himself in position to make plays, making plays in big moments for his team. He’s been left on an island often at Oregon State, and held up well, breaking up 12 passes and snagging four interceptions in his final season with the Beavers.
There are slight off-the-field concerns with Poyer, but on the field he was looked upon as a leader on his team. I feel like a broken record here, but this is something important to Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik. If the off-the-field issues are a part of Poyer’s past and not his future, he could be a steal of a pick in the second round. He’s similar to Banks in his drive and desire to lead, and also similar to Banks in his ability to contribute on special teams.

Round 3: Robert Alford, Southeastern Louisianna
Alford is not the most well known of prospects, coming from a decently successful school in a middling conference in the Football Championship Subdivision. But he is a name you should know, because he could be the next player to come from the “Division I-AA” level to make an impact in the NFL. Alford is someone we’ve profiled here previously, because he’s a playmaker at cornerback who has blazing fast speed and showed off during Senior Bowl practices. He was the best player on the field in college, and brought that confidence to his workouts in Mobile. He hasn’t faced receivers or quarterbacks on the level he will face in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to be able to hang in the league. Check out his highlight video and you can see the plays he is capable of making.

Round 4: Will Davis, Utah State

It might seem strange to target so many small school players at the cornerback position, but the fact remains that these players often fall down the draft board thanks to questions about their level of competition rather than concerns about their ability. Davis is another player whose biggest question marks are about the level of competition he faced in his college career. The former Community college player transfered up to Utah State, and he worked his way up the depth chart until he was a starter and first team All-WAC. Rob Rang of CBS Sports says his mechanics are solid in terms of his balance and change of direction, and also notes that he’s experienced in press-man coverage. Davis broke up almost two passes per game in 2012, which was best in college football. He has proven that he can lock down receivers on a lower level of football, so it might be worth a middle round pick to see if he’s able to carry that over to the NFL level.

Round 5: Sanders Comings, Georgia

Comings is a player that comes from a great college defense, but seems to be way under the radar as a draft prospect. He has some character concerns and seems to struggle outside of being aggressive at the line of scrimmage. But NFL.com compares him to Brandon Browner of the Seattle Seahawks, and if Mark Dominik got to draft from current NFL players, Browner would definitely be high on his list. He’s strong, he’s big, and he’s still got good straight line speed. If he can step up his game in coverage and use his athletic ability in all aspects of defending receivers, rather than just controlling them at the line, he could be a good NFL corner. He’ll also have to stay out of trouble, which is a concern the Buccaneers will not take lightly.

Rounds 6 and 7: Vernon Kearney, Lane College

The Bucs don’t have a seventh round pick as the draft order currently stands, so we’ll take a look at a player who could be taken late in the draft, or signed after the draft is over. Much like E.J. Biggers a few years ago, Kearney was not invited to the NFL Draft Combine despite measuring up physically with any corner in the draft.  Kearney was not targeted often in college (since he was one of the best players on the field), but still made enough of an impact to be invited to the Raycom All-Star Classic, where he wowed scouts. He’s originally from Bradenton, so if he doesn’t get selected at the tail end of the draft, he might welcome a chance to come to camp in Tampa and compete for a spot. Kearney is big enough and quick enough to play in the NFL, and given the chance, he could prove he’s good enough to play in the league as well.


The Anti-Java

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« #1 : April 07, 2013, 03:39:09 AM »

If we don't get Revis, better draft all 7,  in hopes 2 of them pan out.

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